Q&A: The secret to winning six salon awards in two years

The team at 110 on Ayr are the proud winners of six salon awards in the last two years, including Best in Glasgow at the Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards, and Most Progressive UK Salon at the Lux Health, Beauty and Wellness awards. Safe to say, they’re bossing it. 

We caught up with Claire Walker, co-owner of 110 on Ayr for her take on growing a business with Fresha, secrets to salon success, and valuable advice that every salon owner should follow.

Tell us about your journey with 110 on Ayr.

I started as a manager in December 2019. When COVID hit, we really struggled to keep the lights on. So I launched our online store from scratch to keep the salon running, while re-training staff to keep them fresh for when we reopened. And it worked – we brought the salon back into the green. I was made co-owner as a result.

Clients come to us because they know they’re being treated by the best of the best. 

How do you make sure your salon stands out?

Staff training and specialising. We run monthly training sessions to keep up with trends and stay at the top of our game. And we make sure each team member has a skill or treatment they specialise deeply in. Clients come to us because they know they’re being treated by the best of the best. 

We have a really strong online presence too, with ‘Book Now’ buttons on our social media profiles that link to our Fresha calendar. People check out our work on Facebook and Instagram, and when they see a hairstyle they like, they can book an appointment in seconds. 

What do clients love most about your salon?

Lots of things, but our pricing is a big one. Every client’s bill is broken down based on their stylist’s skill level, chemicals used, and products added on top. It’s almost like going to a mechanic. Clients get to see all that, and they love the transparency. 

What’s the secret to your success?

Client care! We treat clients like royalty from the moment they walk in. Every client gets an in-depth consultation and treatments designed just for them. We’ve won six awards in the last two years, including Best in Hair and Beauty in Salon Glasgow and Most Progressive UK Salon – and that’s all down to putting our clients first.


What’s one thing you never do?

None of our treatments are generic or half-baked. We inspect clients’ hair all the way down to the follicle with nano cameras connected to our phones and tablets. That way, we can diagnose the root cause of any problems and treat them then and there. 

Why did you start using Fresha?

“Since Fresha was free, we decided to give it a shot. We never looked back.”

When we first opened we were using another well-known booking app, but it didn’t pair up with the way we do things. And since Fresha was free, we decided to give it a shot. We never looked back – Fresha is so easy to use, both for clients and staff. 

How has Fresha made it easier to run your salon? 

I’m not tech-minded at all, but Fresha makes everything so simple. It takes stress away from the whole team. I can manage the salon from anywhere: stock rotation, accounting, staff rotas, you name it. 

Clients love that they can book anytime without having to contact us. The automatic reminders make sure they never miss an appointment. And with Fresha’s payment system, they don’t even need to bring cards or cash to pay.

Has Fresha helped you grow the salon?

Definitely. When I first took over as manager in 2019, we were losing money. But we used Fresha’s sales reports to spot the gaps in the business, how much it was costing to offer certain treatments and how much profit we made on them. 

“It's like having a business partner in your phone.”

Now, the salon is profiting and we’re doing really well. We focus on the right treatments, and adjust our pricing to suit. It’s like having a business partner in your phone. 


What’s your all-time favourite Fresha feature?

It’s hard to pick one, but we love the memberships. They’re great value for our clients, and keep us booked in advance. For example, clients can pay ahead of time for four colour treatments, and get their fifth treatment for free. 

Fresha gift cards are great, too – we don’t need to spend money on printing gift cards anymore. Clients can just buy them directly from our Fresha profile and download them straight to their phone.

One word of advice salon owners need to hear?

Training, training, training. Make sure your staff are the best of the best, and you’ll win business from your reputation alone. And if you aren’t already using it, check out Fresha. I’ve recommended it to so many people already. Your business, staff, and clients will thank you. 

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